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More on Hyland

I touched base with newest Zag commitment Keegan Hyland, his father, Tom, and Phil Conley, the head coach at South Portland High. (Side note: I'm pretty sure Hyland is the first Red Riots product to join Gonzaga's program. That's South Portland's nickname. I asked Hyland about it but he wasn't sure of the origin. He said their logo is a red fireball.)

There's more below in an unedited article that will run in Thursday's S-R, but here are a few things that didn't make the story.

--Hyland described his strengths/weaknesses this way: "My strongest attibute is my ability to shoot from the perimeter. I have the ability to handle the ball pretty well and get by guys and see the floor. One of the biggest things I have to work on for the next level is my quickness and strength. I have to put some weight on. I was about 180 pounds, but I've put on about 10 pounds."

--The injury that sidelined him most of his senior year (stress fracture in his pelvis) is more common in soccer players, rare in basketball players, according to his doctors. "It was pretty achy," he said. "When I tried to play on it, it wasn't agreeing with me. My (stress fracture) came about from a groin injury."

--Hyland played point guard as a junior and '2', or shooting guard, in limited duty as a senior.

Read on.

By Jim Meehan

jimm@spokesman.com; (208) 765-7131

Gonzaga is on a bit of a recruiting roll.

The Bulldogs added their third guard this month, the latest being South Portland (Maine) High School’s Keegan Hyland, who will join Three Rivers Community College point guard Marquise Carter on GU’s roster this fall. Gary Bell Jr., a standout guard at Kentridge High (Kent, Wash.) who verbally committed on Monday, and guard Kyle Dranginis, of Skyview High in Nampa, Idaho, are 2011 commitments.

Hyland, who missed all but three games of his senior season with a stress fracture in his pelvis, was planning on attending prep school, work on his game and see what opportunities developed. His plans changed when Gonzaga entered the picture.

“I had my stuff filled out and I was accepted (at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire),” said Hyland, who verbally committed Tuesday night. “But this opportunity was too much to pass up. The style of basketball fits me really well.”

Hyland took three months off and hasn’t had any problems with his hip recently. He returned to play on Senior Night in the last game of the regular season, and in two playoff games. He scored 32 points in his South Portland’s final game, a loss in the Western Maine Class A tournament semifinals.

“He’s a terrific shooter, off the pass, off the dribble,” South Portland coach Phil Conley said. “In his junior year, he scored 47 points in one game and just carried us. He led our league in scoring at 27.7 per game (as a junior), and most of those games were with him getting double-teamed or facing a box-and-one. He’s great on and off the court, a very good student and a pleasure to coach.”

Conley teaches P.E. at Hamlin Elementary and has known Hyland for years.

“He’d come in with a couple of his buddies and ask, ‘Can we get in the gym and play?’ ” Conley said. “He’s always had a basketball in his hands.”

The 6-foot-3 Hyland said he was receiving interest from Rhode Island, Seton Hall and Boston College. He verbally committed to Vermont in October, but changed his mind the next day.

Now that he’s healthy, Hyland intends on stepping up his conditioning program for his anticipated arrival in Spokane in late June.

“I think I’ll be ready to go,” he said. “Talking to Coach (Mark) Few, he certainly sounded like he expects me to help next season.”

 




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